March 20, 2017 7:30 a.m.
The Mayor of Winston is behind bars on sex and weapons charges.
A report from Myrtle Creek Police says that 71 year old Kenneth Barrett was arrested Sunday night. Officer Kevin Taggart says the arrest is part of a series of four investigations into online sex crimes against children that has taken place in the past few weeks.
Taggart says that Barrett was detained after he arrived at an agreed upon location in Myrtle Creek Sunday night after agreeing to meet a 14 year old female for sexual contact. During the arrest Barrett was found to be in possession of a concealed semi-automatic handgun. A phone and a computer were seized along with the weapon.
Mayor Barrett is being held on two counts of online sexual corruption of a child in the second degree and for unlawful possession and concealment of a firearm. He is being held on over $106,000 bail.
Officer Kevin Taggart declined to go into more specifics regarding what led to the arrest, terming the case as “an active investigation”.
Three other people including a 28 year old man from California, an 18 year old man from Roseburg, and a 51 year old man from Springfield have been arrested since late February on similar charges
Officer Taggart says that none of those arrested knew each other and were not working together.
Taggart says Myrtle Creek Police would like to remind parents to keep an eye on social media accounts of their children. In all four cases contact was made on social media platforms. Parents are urged to speak to their children about what to do if they are contacted by strangers online. Children should be encouraged to report any suspicious activity on their accounts and to call police if they are sent any inappropriate material from strangers.
Kenneth Barrett has been the Mayor of Winston since the start of the year after being elected in November.